The Tears of a Grown Child

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Rob and his Great GrandmaYou know that feeling when your child falls and hurts themselves? The cry where you know they are in pain and you can’t take it away? The one that causes you to try to comfort them as much as you can while inside your heart is breaking in pieces and you feel helpless? That feeling still happens no matter how old your kids get.

When your kids are small, there are so many things you worry about as a parent – are they developing right? am I teaching them the right lessons? how much discipline do they need? what childcare provider should I place them with?

When your kids grow up, the things you worry about shift to more serious things you have less control over – will they be safe in that car they just left in? will they say no to drugs? will they make it on their own?

This week has been a challenge. My kids have faced challenges.
– 1 car totaled
– 1 friend lost to suicide or a potential college prank
– 1 friend taking heroine
– 1 person arrested
– 1 struggle with bills that need paid
– 1 worry of war about a boyfriend that just started bootcamp
– 1 argument about getting married
– 1 day full of tears and feeling like they let everyone in their family down
– 1 day revisiting the time when I almost lost my child

I think back to the worries I had years ago when they were small. At the time, the worries seemed so big, so hard, so emotionally consuming at times. And now, the worries are so much more emotional and difficult – at a whole different level. Can I have the easy stuff back? Hahahaha

This week just reminded me that even when your kids are grown, their tears and pain still bring on the feeling of being brokenhearted and helpless. Except, I think it may be worse because when you see your grown son sobbing uncontrollably, you know the pain they are feeling is so much worse than a skinned up knee. They are hurting to the core and that just plain sucks.


Becky Gruebmeyer has been a single mother of four since 1998. Her children, ranging from 13 to 25 years old, have been her focus while meeting all the challenges that come with being a working mom.

one Comments

  1. Becky, I know exactly what you mean. Even though my kids are still young and experiencing “simpler” pain. I have seen my own mom’s reactions to my adult problems, and see just how much it affects her.

    That was a tough week for you. I hope this one has been/will be better.

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